The request to use the West Sussex County Council (WSCC) underspend to fund the Montague Street refurbishment was unsuccessful but local Councillor Michael Cloake remains confident.
Worthing County Local Committee (CLC) resolved at its last meeting “that the Chairman write to the Cabinet Member for Finance to request that an allocation of funds be made for the Montague Street Town Centre enhancement from the underspend in the 2013/14 financial year.”
Cllr Steven Waight who made the proposal at the CLC said last week: “I understand that the underspend has been allocated to other projects. Most disappointing.”
But local County Councillor Michael Cloake whose Worthing Pier division includes Montague Street is not downhearted.
Cllr Cloake said: “The scope of the Montague Street redevelopment scheme is significantly beyond the resources of any one CLC and is very much being treated as part of WSCC’s capital infrastructure programme.
“I have had a number of meetings already about the scheme and we will see advance works happening in Autumn for which the funds from this financial year have been committed.
“ I remain very excited about this fantastic commitment to Worthing from WSCC and the Montague Street development has full backing from both the cabinet members and officers. At this stage I have no concerns about the proposed direction or future funding needs of this scheme.”
No money was made available to Worthing from the first tranche of the £202 million Growth Fund allocated in July. Elsewhere West Sussex County Council has set aside with Crawley Borough Council £3 million to improve the town’s Queen Square.
Asked about Montague Street, a spokesman for West Sussex County Council said: “£200k is available for this year for some early work on this scheme. This includes contributions towards scheme development costs, implementation of test pallets to try out material choices, and work on required changes to Traffic Regulation Orders.
“Further funding will be identified once the scheme has been developed further.
“We have a few funding options – county council capital, contributions from local development (i.e. S106), LEP – but before these are tied down it is necessary to be much clearer about the project scope, extent and costs.
“This work is progressing and will lead into identification of funds and their source later in the year.”
S.106 funds are developers contributions to infrastructure as a condition of granting planning permission and the LEP is the Local Enterprise Partnership.